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occupant not to be too lavish of his attentions, lest he might cut off his hope of getting a new one built upon another and better site It had, however, to be made habitable--fit to receive Mr. Chalmers and two of his sisters who came to live with him. The arrangements of the in-door and out-door economy, in all of which he took the liveliest interest, the needful preparations for the pulpit, the visitation and examination of his parish, in the course of which, to use his own favourite phrase, moving, "with his affections flying before him," he made himself acquainted with every family, and familiar at every fireside-winning back from every household such rich responses of genuine gratitude, as such genuine good-will was so well fitted to draw forth,—these with a week given to Edinburgh, and a week to Angus, and a week to the meeting of the Synod, filled up the summer months. His visit to Angus was made that he might be present at the ordination, in the parish of Fern, of a college acquaintance, the Rev. David Harris:
"I rode with him," says the Rev. Mr. Burns, "most part of the way to Brechin. I remember this circumstance. The church at Fern, at that time, was like most parish churches in the country, very mean, and the pews most inconveniently huddled together. No preparation had been made for the convenient assembling of the members of Presbytery round the brother to be ordained. Mr. Chalmers was not in a situation at all convenient for joining in the imposition of hands, and in fact did not join in the act. He seemed, however, to feel a good deal after the service was over on account of this unintentional neglect. He asked me repeatedly if it was not a great oversight he had fallen into that he wished he had got his hands put on along with the brethren; but added, ‘he supposed it was of no great consequence,' yet wished he had got nearer, so as to have placed his hand upon his friend's head.
His kindness of heart thus appeared in his regret at what he felt as an apparent want of attention, and a neglect of the duty of the day."
Mr. Chalmers had calculated on retaining the mathematical assistantship. His ordination at Kilmany might not of itself have prevented this: for six out of the eleven years during which his own teacher, Dr. Brown, had occupied that position, he was minister of the parish of Denino; and Kilmany, being only about nine miles distant, was not so remote from St. Andrews as to render a similar arrangement impracticable. At the close of the session, however-and after such a close who can wonder at it?—his employer gave him to understand that his services would not again be required. This summary dismissal not only tore him away from an occupation which he loved, and confined him to one in which he felt as yet but little interest, it seemed also to close up the avenue along which his brightest hopes had been moving. Inefficiency as a teacher had been alleged as the ground of it; and if that allegation were received, his prospects of academic distinction would be blasted. And was it thus that all his most cherished hopes were to be defeated? Was that hand, which had shut so sharply against him the way of return even for another winter to the mathematical class-room of St. Andrews, to be permitted to do him the still weightier injury of closing every door to university preferment? Not without a vigorous effort to repair this injury—to right this wrong! To clear his impeached reputation from the reproach which had been thrown upon it, he resolved to open next winter in St. Andrews mathematical classes of his own-rivals to those of the University. All opposition which might arise elsewhere he was fully prepared to brave; but there was one quarter in which, by early and kindly application, he fain would soften it down.
"KILMANY, October 18, 1803.
"DEAR FATHER,-You may perhaps by this time have heard of my intention to open mathematical classes next winter. I believe the measure will be opposed by a certain party of the St. Andrews professors; but I am sure they will not be able to ruin the success of my intended proceedings, except by having recourse to dishonourable practices. These artifices I shall be obliged to expose for my own vindication; but my chief anxiety is to reconcile you to the idea of not confining my whole attention to my ministerial employment. The fact is that no minister finds that necessary. Even at present I am able to devote as much time and as much attention to other subjects, as I will be under the necessity of doing next winter, and after all I discharge my duties, I hope, in a satisfactory manner. With regard to non-residence, that is only to last for six months. I have never been called to any incidental duty through the week but once, and I have the assurance of my two neighbours that they will attend to every ministerial office that may be necessary. Your apprehensions, with regard to the dissatisfaction of the parishioners, are, I can assure you, quite groundless. I feel the footing on which I stand with them, and am certain that no serious or permanent offence will ever be excited. * -Yours affectionately, THOMAS CHALMERS."
St. Andrews lies so much out of the line of the great rolling current of public life, that in general it enjoys a very unbroken rest. The genius of the place is repose-a repose, however, which, startled from its slumbers by the step of this bold invader from Kilmany, was now for a season effectually put to flight. The professors met in hurried consultation-the students were agitated and divided-the hearts of many siding with the youthful devotee, who came to redeem his injured scientific honour. The general public, dependent either for actual subsistence
or for all social fellowship upon the colleges, looked with wonder at the sight of an open and declared rivalry establishing itself within the very shadow of the University. A brief and broken journal of this memorable winter is still preserved, exhibiting in its pages the tossings of the stormy waters :
Thursday, Oct. 27.-Came in to St. Andrews. Called on Mr. Duff, and am told by him that Dr. Hunter mentioned that a paper was to be read at the first meeting of all the classesstating that four winters' attendance, and attendance upon all the University classes, was necessary for admission into the Divinity College. Have pretty decided suspicions that this is an interference with the authority of the Church. Called on Mrs. M. She expresses her fears that the attendance of her son on my class would hurt him with the professors; but at the same time says, that if all were left to themselves, I would experience a numerous support.
"Friday, Oct. 28.-Called on Mr. Cook, jun., (Professor of Hebrew,)—an explanation with him amounting to a dismissal. Mr. Grierson (a tutor*) says he is not warranted to send his pupil to my classes; but, circumstances being equal, knows what he would do.
Tuesday, Nov. 1.-Delivered an Introductory Lecture."
Referring to his present position as compared with that which he occupied at the beginning of the preceding session, he said— "True, I am different from what I was, but the difference is only in external circumstances. I feel not that my energies have expired, though I no longer tread that consecrated ground where the Muses have fixed their residence. I feel not that science has deserted me, though I breathe not the air which ventilates the halls of St. Salvator. * I have only to
* James Grierson, M.D., afterwards minister of Cockpen.
lift my eyes and behold the students of a former session. With them I was wont to indulge in all the intimacies of friendship. A summer spent in the labours of my profession has not effaced them from my memory. I will say more; it has not effaced them from my affections. I bless the remembrance of that day when they first attempted the high career of science. It was to me a day of triumph. It is from that day I date the first rising of my literary ambition-an ambition which can only expire with the decay of my intellectual faculties. My appearance in this place may be ascribed to the worst of passions; some may be disposed to ascribe it to the violence of a revengeful temper-some to stigmatize me as a firebrand of turbulence and mischief. These motives I disclaim. I disclaim them with the pride of an indignant heart which feels its integrity. My only motive is, to restore that academical reputation which I conceive to have been violated by the aspersions of envy. It is this which has driven me from the peaceful silence of the country-which has forced me to exchange my domestic retirement for the whirl of contention."
"Wednesday, Nov. 2.-I have heard no particular animadversions by the professors, but a lively apprehension on the part of the students of their displeasure. Mr. A. called, and regretted deeply the necessity under which he lay of attending T., from the fear of being stopped next winter. This the subject of an interesting description. Heard that the students are afraid of injustice in the Library from their attendance upon
Mr. D. risks the loss of a bursary, so must be the object
of my particular attention.
"Monday, Nov. 7.-Mr. V. sent for Mr. Kid on Saturdayprevailed on him to give his word of honour not to attend my class. T. sent for Mr. D.,-rated him for soliciting students to attend me, and threatened to carry him before the University